Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Alcoholism

Since my post the other day and my continued forays into the social world (sans alcohol), I've been doing a bit of thinking (what's new??)

I've spoken many times about my relationship with alcohol on this blog. And I've always been very quick to point out that I wasn't an alcoholic per se. But last night I thought maybe I should tighten up on my understanding of the definition "Alcoholic".

Enter: Wikipedia

First off, there are very conflicting definitions of alcoholism. Which confirms my suspicion that I shouldn't dismiss the label altogether in my case. The alcoholism article in Wikipedia is huge, and reflects all these conflicting viewpoints. Some of them paint me into the alcoholic picture 100%. Like the following quick test:

Two "yes" responses indicate that the respondent should be investigated further. The questionnaire asks the following questions:

  1. Have you ever felt you needed to Cut down on your drinking?
  2. Have people Annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?
  3. Have you ever felt Guilty about drinking?
  4. Have you ever felt you needed a drink first thing in the morning (Eye-opener) to steady your nerves or to get rid of a hangover?
Two Yeses??? Well BPG answered a resounding affirmative for all 4! So according to that little angle, I am was an Alcoholic thru-n-thru.

But here's another "definition":

Misuse, problem use, and heavy use do not have standard definitions, but suggest consumption of alcohol beyond the point where it causes physical, social, or moral harm to the drinker.

This definition in my case is more problematic. OK, so I suppose the terrible hangovers and accompanying depression could count as physical harm. And I carried on putting myself through this physical discomfort time and time again.

BUT: social harm??? NO WAYS - if anything STOPPING alcohol has done my life social harm. In fact, looking back at my life I can honestly say that for me, alcohol could be seen as a "great enabler".

Let me explain. If one word was used to capture BPG's total disposition in life it is this: SHY. Not BiPolar, not depressed, not genius :), but plain ol' shy. A week or 2 ago I blogged that my defining characteristic was RECLUSE, but in fact, SHY lies behind even this. Readers of this blog may be surprised to hear I'm shy. But that is to be expected (as you will see in my forthcoming polemic) because the internet, like alcohol, is a great enabler for shy people.

Tis true. Had I not partaken in the merry mug-fulls, I woulda led a wayyy more isolated life. Probly ended up a goddam timid and obscure professor in an obscure lil' office in an obscure lil' university, on an obscure little planet*. But with the chutzpa (dutch courage?) the bottle gave me, I went to places I would never have been, done things I would never have done, made friends I would neva have made. Sheesh, most of my girlfriends over the years were met in bars! (cliche I know, but considering I even met Mrs M in a bar, the boy-meets-girl-at-bar story can have happy endings).

So, what I am saying is that the "persistent use of alcohol despite negative consequences. " definition leaves it wide open as to whether I was an alcoholic or not.

BOTTOM LINE:
At this point whether or not I was an alcoholic is irrelevant - my social life is going fine (better?) without it. But I just couldn't pass up such a wonderful opportunity to chew the cud and partake in a little mental masturbation.


*NOTE TO SELF: Huh? Is my present life any better????

7 comments:

  1. Few people will ever admit to being an alcoholic until they have lost everything. I was a weekend alcoholic for sure aided and abetted by the rugby scene. Now I don't drink, coincidently for the same length of time as you.

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  2. These are really good questions. Not so much the ones from Wikepedia but those you are asking yourself and posing for us here.

    Shy? Me too, though nobody'd ever believe it. I come across very social in groups but it's really just nerves. Few know the hours spent shuddering afterward in self-recrimination. I often opt-out of social events just to avoid the fall-out. I'm what's known in the parlance as a "chatty introvert"(Gad).

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  3. here comes the drop forge, as promissed: your mrs M and BPG story is very far from having a happy ending...

    love isn't enough man & i know once in the past mrs M herself dropped into your blog to assure poor concerned asshole me that she would never ever dump you, but that doesn't mean jackshit, one day she may do just that, not because she wants to, but simply because there's only so much a person can take.

    you are in a mighty COdependent relationship (not INTERdependent) and when she's going to dump your ass (which i hope to gawd nevah evah happens), you will then ferreal be up shitcreek.

    when you think you've got problems now, this is CHILD PLAY compared to what you'll go through when your BETTER HALF will go.

    even if she never dumps you, she may get run over by a truck tomorrow (and btw, separation due to death of a partner is EASIER than being dumped by what you perceive to be your perfect match), then whatchu gonna do? marry the bottle?

    let's just end this on a positive note, okay? when mrs M will dump you, either you kill yourself which won't make you any stronger and won't solve your major problem (I THINK THEREFORE I SUFFER) or you finally hit some kind of rock bottom and reinvent yourself from your own ashes, like that phoenix crapbird story.

    either way, if i'm still alive, i'll do everything i can to continue to drive you nuts, thus make you STRONGER.

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  4. Not a great one for definitions. They usually come in the form to define and rule. The monkey getting the leg over the elephant.

    I choose not to drink, for now, because that's what I want.

    V.

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  5. I've wasted much too much time wondering if I'm this or if I'm that, when all I really needed to know was:

    Bipolar + drink = Bad.

    Now that's a reality I cannot argue with.

    Glad that you've reached a similar conclusion.

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  6. z0tl dude, you should work in counseling.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi. nice blog.I have provide the information about alcoholism treatment. As, I have also taken this information by this site St Jude Thaddeus Retreat House.It was benefited to me so i assure that it will be helpful to you and all the person who are related to this category.please advice them to take a drug treament program.

    ReplyDelete

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